The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on May 15, 1988 · Page 43
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 43

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Indianapolis, Indiana
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Sunday, May 15, 1988
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Page 43
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The Indianapolis Star SUNDAY, MAY 15, 1988 Section 1TY, t MA c In the day's events, wharfs important is the Knightly news It was one of those unifying media ordeals, like the death of a president or the rescue of a toddler from a well. Male and female, young and old, sports lovers and normal people, they would approach and ask the same question, often with hushed solemnity. "Any word yet?" "Have you heard anything?" "Is Bobby gone, or what?" '- I admit my complicity. When I picked up a newspaper, I'd skip the progress report on the missile treaty, the update on AIDS, the saga of Noriega. I wanted to know if Bob Knight was going to New Mexico. I wanted to know which airports he'd been seen In lately. I wanted to know exactly what he had refused to say. and to whom. And I had to look- no farther than Page One. Dan Carpenter The Knight watch. I was on it, and I wondered why. I don't have strong personal feelings about the guy. I'm not an Indiana University alumnus or an ardent IU basketball fan. I am convinced universities have better things to do than help Miller sell beer on weekends. Still, there's this fascination with a coach called Coach. I share It. not just with the folks who plant red flags in their lawns whenever Bobby's teen-age recruits sally forth; but with some heavyweights from far beyond the realm. David "The Best And The Brightest" Halberstam claims ta be a friend of Knight. John Feinstein of The Washington Post and Frank Deford of Sports Illustrated have played Boswell to his Samuel Johnson. An Ivy League English professor whose name escapes me has extolled him in terms worthy of Philip of Macedonia and nearly as obscure to the average sports junkie. Knight, on various peoples' authority, is a genius, a boor, an adolescent, a father figure, a perfectionist, a tyrant, an egomaniac, a philanthropist, a raconteur, a reformer, a volcano, an oasis, a neanderthal, a Renaissance man, a peasant, a prince, and a pain In the northeast side of a coach going southwest. Maybe they're all true. Without doubt, he's a successful coach and unless he gives away a lot of money a very rich man. He doesn't act like other successful coaches or other rich men, and I suspect that's a key to his appeal. While the Digger Phelpses of the world stalk the sidelines in tailored suits and sculpted hairdos, Knight lets his belly protrude from a cheap sweater somebody's paying him to wear. He eats in the back room of a Bioomington chili joint and takes off fishing while sports-writers kneel in the snow outside his window. A maverick. A rebel. A man who marches to the beat of his own drummer. But not a Thoreau-type rebel or an I.F. Stone-style maverick. Americans in large numbers never have revered individuals such as that, because they refuse to play the game. Knight plays it. wins it, delights or at least excites the masses, then tells them to kiss his northeast end if they have the slightest gripe with how he does it. We eat it up. Muhammad All did the same thing to us, and we loved and hated him, even trotted out the hagiog-raphers to call this madcap boxer a genius. Howard Cosell helped Ali do it, and we loved and hated that mediocre media creature as well. Forget all the stuff about winning, chair-throwing and especially integrity. Where is the integrity in a business that makes coaches millionaires for using free labor by ghetto kids? The bottom line is, we can't get enough of Bob Knight because we can't resist entertainers who insist they don't need us. Let's just admit it and yes, I've gotta do this relax and enjoy the communal feast of Coach. Teen shot in robbery honored as hero Youth fights to recuperate from injuries By MARC D. ALLAN STAR STAFF WRITER Although he said he didn't feel like a hero. Harry McCurdy was honored as one Saturday night. The 18-year-old Broad Ripple High School student, shot in the neck last month while trying to prevent a robbery at the North- eastside shoe store where he worked, received The Gage Institute's first Best Student Award for Heroism. "I just did what I felt the situation required deep Inside of me," McCurdy told reporters before a ceremony at Butler University's Clowes Hall. "I really didn't do it for publicity. At the time it happened, it just happened so fast." Police said McCurdy protected the female manager of the Pay-less Shoe Source, 4102 North Keystone Avenue, during an April 5 armed robbery. One of the two robbers turned his gun on McCurdy, shooting him once in the neck. The gunshot fractured a vertebra. McCurdy is now in a wheelchair but has regained some use of his arms and legs. He also is wearing a neck brace. "I've always grown up to believe that a man should protect the woman, especially someone helpless, if you can." McCurdy said. Police arrested one man in the shooting. 24-year-old Melvin Lyles, and said a second suspect is being sought. McCurdy left Methodist Hospital, where he is undergoing - t Js' c STAR STAFF PHOTO FRANK ESPICH Harry and Patricia Ann McCurdy with their son, Harry, who was honored Saturday night (or heroism. treatment and therapy, to attend the ceremony. Wearing a black tuxedo with a white, ruffled shirt, black shoes and a red carnation, he sat with his parents. Harry and Patricia, four brothers, his girlfriend and a family friend. Beverly Newman, curriculum director for The Gage Institute, said McCurdy "is a man of spunk, a man who is a true credit to our society. ... He risked his life on behalf of a fellow employee." Patricia McCurdy accepted a plaque from Newman. "I'm Just so proud, and we're all so grateful that he's able to be with us," she told the audience of about 1 00 people. McCurdy said his therapy is. going well and he hopes to be walking by September. His rehabilitation includes stretching and exercising muscles, but McCurdy said he also must learn to feed and clothe himself. "I'm feeling a lot better, and 1 am noticing a lot of progress in my rehabilitation," he said. "I don't plan on keeping this wheelchair for very long. I have movement in both my legs. My left leg is pretty strong, as a matter of fact. My right is coming along, so I plan on walking again. My right hand has no movement yet, but it's still early." McCurdy said he hopes to fin ish his last courses while in the hospital and graduate thi spring. McCurdy said he hasn't thought about the punishment his assailants should receive. "I've been really concentrat ing on Just getting my life back together," he said. "I feel the police will take care of it as they see fit. I just feel God will take care of it. ' Treasurer .1 ! . on me nsi for No. 2 with Mutz By PATRICK J. TRAUB STAR POLITICS WRITER State Treasurer Marjorie H. O'Laughlin has been added to the short list of names Lt. Gov. John M. Mutz is considering to be his running mate on the Re publican gubernatorial ticket this fall. A number of Republican Par ty county chairmen have been ELECTION '88 North Liberty wrestler has handicap pinned By PAT STACKHOUSE STAR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT Brett Eastburn didn't leave Indianapolis defeated. Far from it. When he started the long trip back to North Liberty. Ind., on Saturday after losing the second bout in the double elimination Indiana State Wrestling Association meet, he didn't even bother to pick up his consolation ribbon. Instead, he had the memory of a hot and sweaty crowd in the Arsenal Technical High School gym that had stood and roared at his efforts. "I got two standing ovations when I finished, and I don't think they were clapping for the other guy," said Brett with the same measure of Jauntiness and guts that he Has to summon before facing any wrestling opponent. He was born with no right leg. His other limbs are stubs. For Brett, the deformities are a mark of distinction, not a handicap. Yet. when he takes to the mat, not only are his opponent's eyes on him. but usually most of the spectators in the gym. That's why he knew the standing ovations were for him. "It's always been that way. but you get used to it," said Brett, 16. Making his way around on a skate board, playfully cuffing opponents, dispensing and receiving tips from coachs, Brett has been a familiar figure at wrestling matches the last four years. He has wrestled in five Amateur Athletic Union matches this season and scored three firsts and one third while not placing once. "I don't get pinned unless I get gyped by an official," Brett said after his matches Saturday. "I lost by points, but I did Just about as good as I could do. . . . All they have to do is throw me, and they get points," he said, trying to explain his performance. To anyone watching, it is ob-See WRESTLER Page 11 promoting O'Laughlin, in her 10th consecutive year of holding a state office. Mutz said Thursday he has three or four weeks before deciding whether to make a recommendation or an endorsement to the Republican State Convention. It is possible, campaign officials report, that Mutz will offer several recommendations to the convention. Republican Party officials and observers report that county chairmen have been actively attempting to increase their influence over the decision. O'Laughlin becomes at least the sixth name on Mutz's list of potential running mates. Hammond Mayor Thomas R. McDermott, state Rep. Mitchell V. Harper of Fort Wayne, state Sen. Steven R. Johnson of Koko-mo and Lake County resident Calvin Hawkins have announced they are aspirants for lieutenant governor. Hawkins announced his candidacy during a recent Lake County Lincoln Day Dinner while he led the assembled Republicans In a predinner prayer. Mutz and his closest advisers still consider Marion County Prosecutor Stephen Goldsmith a strong candidate even though Goldsmith has suspended active campaigning. And, despite strong and frequent efforts to convince him to run, former Secretary of State Edwin J. Simcox remains flattered, but unavailable. "Somewhat to my amazement my name has continued to be discussed," Simcox said. "I would have hoped it would have fallen by the wayside by now." Mutz has discussed recruiting See LIST Page 10 Huntington's disease victims welcomed at local facility By RICHARD D. WALTON STAR STAFF WRITER Huntington's disease victims, turned away by many nursing homes, are being welcomed by an Indianapolis facility that hopes to provide the specialized, long-term care these people need. . Ritter Healthcare Center is opening a wing one of the first of its kind in the nation for sufferers of the fatal nerve disorder, which strikes in middle age but often doesn't claim its victims for a decade or longer. Plans for the wing were greeted enthusiastically by experts in the field and by families of Huntington's disease patients, whose symptoms such as dementia and loss of muscle control make them hard to care for. "Most of the time nursing homes shun Huntington's peo-, pie," said Gary Wallach, executive director of the Huntington's Disease Society of America, based in New York City. "From our point of view, this (initiative) is one of the most Important things that could happen." Ritter Healthcare Center is operated by ARA Living Centers, a subsidiary of the Philadelphia-based ARA Services. The nursing home at 1301 North Ritter Avenue, across from Community Hospital, is believed to be the first in Indiana to undertake such a project. ' Experts said it will offer an alternative to placing Huntington's patients in state institutions or in cases where they are accepted by nursing homes among geriatric patients. P. Michael Conneally of the Indiana University School of Medicine, who helped find the genetic flaw responsible for Huntington's, said Just bringing Huntington's patients together will prove beneficial. "They're usually in their 40s, and the people they're with are in their 70s. Neither one understands the other," Conneally said. John Bray, administrator of Ritter Healthcare Center, said Huntington's patients have tended to take care of each other. "They find strength in numbers," he said. Huntington's begins with jerky, involuntary movements. Eventually, its victims are left unable to walk or swallow. Many patients become progressively disoriented and aggressive. . See VICTIMS Page 6 STAR STAFF PHOTO FRANK ESPICH Robert O'Neal now directs safety patrol at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. O'Neal on top of speedway job then and now By WILLIAM E. ANDERSON STAR STAFF WRITER Traffic backed up for miles on 16th Street as fans tried to get inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the start of the race. The fans had waited five years for this event. Their thirst for the speeding cars and competition had not waned during World War II. The year was 1946 and a Terre Haute businessman had purchased the speedway for $750,000 and pledged to restore it to its once proud heritage. Anton "Tony" Hulman said the fans were the first concern. But the anticipation, pent up since the pre-war race of 1941. had created a major problem traffic. Many fans arrived an hour or two after the race started. "I have never seen so many cars at one place all trying to enter a few gates," Audry Jacobs, See O'NEAL Page 13 s

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